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Hi all, haven't been on the site in a long time, but as I am looking to bring my work to the next level I am definitely looking for some tips and advice for ways to improve. ^_^
So for this image, the concept was Horseman of the Apocalypse, and I chose to illustrate "famine". I'm not sure on color calibration or the image color profile, as I just work at print setting. So it may be a bit dark on some monitors.
Last edited by Corin Miller; March 1st, 2012 at 12:32 AM.
I feel as if the horse isn't portraying Famine as much as the rider is.
Thanks for the comment, ^_^ when I go to rework the image, I think I could try a variation where the horse a bit malnourished.
The rider's head is a bit too high and too large. It looks as if the head is coming from his upper back. Also, you need to get rid of all of that black. It's flat and makes your image look very fake. Think about how the light would bounce around and fill in those areas. The other problem with the image is that your background is competing with your foreground for attention. That lava pit has the darkest darks and the brightest brights. Zoom out from the image and the first thing you'll notice is the lava. The rider meshes with the background and becomes invisible.
If you do want to keep that background, I would think about the lighting effect the lava would have on a figure in the foreground. It would essentially make him a near silhouette. That could work, but it's very difficult to pull off. Check out these links to see how Frazetta was able to use brightly lit backgrounds with characters in front. Make note of the soft lighting on the characters and the fact that even his areas that appear black still have some tone and depth to them.
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Thanks a lot for the critique! A second perspective definitely helps when I have spend a bit of time on one image. I'll have to work on the values and the rider a bit more. ^_^
Look closely to a cast shadow from the helmet and chains on his face) I suppose you forgot about it. Or maybe I just dont see it because of low resolution =)
And the horses legs too short i think.
I love his face and this staff in his head, good work!)
I personally think you would improve by taking some steps back, going back to the basics.
It looks like you render rather than draw. The man's face is flat and it is clear that you don't understand the underlying structure (evident from the way you rendered it: each wrinkle casts dark shadows, but you will notice from ref pictures that wrinkles are much more subtle). The same problem appears at the bottom of the horse.
His head is too big, or his body too small; his hands are definitely too small.
Now, I really don't want to pretend I know anything about colour and light, but just from my daily Gurney lecture I would say that the face-side facing the lava/fire should be much redder, and the blue from the sky more dominant.. ears are translucent and light travels through them, that should show as well..
The first thing that I noticed was the already mentioned head's position, it doesn't seem to belong to that body. The second thing I noticed was that the rider and the horse don't work anatomically, and the rider looks like he's about to slide off. If there's something I've learned on this site it's that refs are your friend, especially when portraying something as complex as riding. Also, looking at videos can help a lot, to see it in action helps getting a feeling of what is actually happening. What does the horse do when he jumps? What does the rider do? How do they work together to overcome the obstacle?
Now, I don't claim to know ANYTHING about horses, I really don't, but in conversations with some horse fanatics that I know I've learned that riding is hard. I also rode a horse recently, and I tell you, it really is!
Thanks for the tips ^_^
I intended to illustrate some comments of the thread... I think to reach the next level, you should stop worrying so much about the details. Lighting , anatomy and composition alone can make an image strong but not details.
Few things I did here: I selected the whole background then brightened up/ desaturated it, then painted on top. To get rid of some black and stiffness of the character, I eye dropped some of your colors and simply glazed over ..check the cape for example....